When life gives you lemons
When life gives you lemons…
Throw them back and ask for chocolate!
I couldn’t make lemonade when life threw me a few lemons because I had half my kitchen packed into boxes ready to move once again – for the 7th time in 7 years.
When I moved from Brighton to Edinburgh I found a lovely flat in a gorgeous part of the city where I lived quite happily over a dis used Gentleman’s club (I am sure it was well to do in its time!) for a year, until the lady who owned it wanted to move back in.
Life decided to throw me a helping hand in the form of a property a friend owned, and whose tenants were moving out. The place was right around the corner and saved me the hassle of having to pound the streets of Edinburgh looking for somewhere new to live.
That was until 15 months later. Having had enough of noisy neighbours above me, I made the move to a top floor property in a different yet equally charming part of the city. I can still remember the first night in my lovely new home thinking how great it would be to enjoy a long lie in without people stomping around above me.
Unfortunately life had different ideas and a few lemons came my way in the form of a wasps nest outside the flat and a few wasps who had managed to get into the bedroom, and a man two floors down playing a piano – loudly.
I’m pretty sure that if you asked my clients to describe me they would say I was a reasonably resilient and optimistic person. However by this point I’d started wondering if I could ask life for some salt and tequila to go with the lemons.
Having done battle with around 30 wasps (yes my skills at EFT tapping on a fear of wasps came in handy!) the season changed and as I welcomed in September, life decided it had a stock pile of lemons left over and for good measure threw a few more at me. This time in the form of a letter saying that the owner wanted to sell the property…
I was speechless. I had only been living in the property for a few months and had just gone through the pain of updating my address once again. Despite the temptation of a tequila bottle, I reached for my journal and pen in hand started to rant. I filled page after page with thoughts about where was I going wrong? That life wasn’t fair! Oh yes, it all came tumbling out until something hit me….maybe this was a sign that the time was right to actually buy a property.
They do say you can’t always see the woods for the trees and being a therapist is no exception!
This was my first experience of buying a property and I confess at first it was exciting! However after viewing property number 15 my excitement had worn off somewhat. And having not found a place to buy, I had to go through the disruption and by this point, agony, of moving again. One friend lovingly joked that it was a good job she had a digital address book.
I spend most of my client sessions helping clients to improve their feelings of self worth and feel good about themselves. Yet at this stage I wasn’t feeling great about myself and feelings of failure started to creep in.
It was the one area of my life I couldn’t seem to get right and in many ways it was also one of the most important because a home has its roots in stability and security.
My 6th move in 7 years took me to a place which let’s say wasn’t quite as charming as some of the other locations had been. The pressure of the situation led me to making a snap decision and had I taken longer I would have noted that the property was right next to a scrap metal yard….school girl error!
If that wasn’t bad enough after a few months building works started and I endured months of feeling my flat vibrate to the sound of earth compressors.
That was it, I’d reached breaking point. I couldn’t face the idea of moving yet again, but equally I didn’t want to stay where I was. I felt trapped.
When life gives you lemons…
I had a choice. I could let life keep throwing lemons at me, or I could start making lemonade.
Move number 7 took me to what I can only describe as a slice of heaven.
Each morning (if I get up early enough!) I am treated to this view from my kitchen window. Every move I have had to go through feels worth it to be able to sit and watch the sun rise over the ocean.
Each lemon also taught me….
Don’t compromise on happiness. I could have decided to put up with the scrap metal yard and building works (oh and very loud seagulls!) simply because I couldn’t face moving again, but I knew it would have been a compromise. Dig deep enough within you and you will always find an ounce of inner strength to enable you to keep going.
I don’t have to be superwoman all the time. Even superwoman has a day off now and again.
To accept help. It’s easy to offer help, but for some people (like me!) it’s not always easy to accept it. This time around when a close friend offered his help in driving me to my new piece of paradise I accepted, and I was so glad that I did. I don’t think we should ever underestimate the power of having another person there by your side to give you a hug – and to go and buy the coffee because your kettle is in a box somewhere!
Keep your eye on the prize. That same friend kept reminding me among all the stress of packing up my life once again to ‘keep your eye on the prize’. It can be easy to get swamped in the situation of what you are trying to achieve and loose sight of the bigger picture – the prize is waiting for you, you just have to keep your eyes firmly fixed on it.